Friday 23 April 2010

Getting back to Europe, Remote teaching

Due to the volcanic activity in Iceland (and the resulting cancellation of many flights) I was a few days longer in North America than planned. I stayed in Toronto and looked at different options to get home - in short Europe is far away from the North America :-) much further than we typically experience it when we planes are flying.

Here are some options that I explored:
  • looking for a place on a container ship, takes about 7-12 days (does not really work as the capacity of transatlantic ship with regard to transporting people is extremely low - my estimate is 100 people/week - does this sound right?)
  • booking a transatlantic cruise, takes about 7-15 days (very few spaces available, only every few weeks available)
  • flying via the middle east (e.g. Doha, Dubai, Cairo, Istanbul ...) and than taking bus/car/train/ship to get back to Germany - seemed feasible (cheap flights were available) but the land journey takes long (e.g. from Turkey to Germany it about 40h).
  • flying to Moscow and taking the train(pretty straightforward ;-)
In the end I waited, got a stand-by space on a direct flight to Frankfurt on Wednesday, and did the teaching via Skype and Google-Talk and had a nice day in Toronto :-) (Fotos from Facebook and probably taken by Jan Gerbecks and Ali)

I had a discussion with Brygg Ullmer and others about the state of remote-X (X may be teaching, conferences, meeting, etc.) and I think it may be the right time to push for telepresence again... Perhaps we should try harder to make remote meetings work.